I'm getting married in one month. My partner and I are pretty excited about it, though for a long time, we thought we would never get married or have a wedding because we feared the wedding industrial complex. But in the end, we liked the idea of celebrating our relationship with our family and close friends. We went to our siblings' and cousins' and friends' weddings and they were all like mini family reunions, or friend-unions, with food and drinks and happy dancing, so we finally said screw it, we want a party, too, and got down to planning. In doing so, we have learned the following about weddings:
1. Balloons. You must have balloons accompanying the sign announcing your wedding at the hotel where your guests are staying. Signs without balloons are insufficient. Guests are incapable of navigating a modest sized hotel lobby without the guidance of balloons. If you do not have balloons, your guests will become confused and may leave the hotel believing themselves to be lost. Hotel staff agree that this is non-negotiable. You will be permitted to choose the color of your balloons.
2. Name. You should know what name you plan to use in advance. It is not advised to have multiple names. If your family and friends know you by two different names, you must reconcile this prior to your partner calling to book various wedding vendors. If you become upset at any confusion caused by lack of clarity around which name to use for which purpose, you should become irate and immediately blame your partner for not reading your mind and knowing your every thought at all moments.
3. Flowers. The belief that a wedding cannot occur without flowers is prevalent. Some vendors seem to be under the impression that when you say "we do not want flowers," you mean "we are too cheap to buy flowers and we would be willing to consider flowers if they are not very expensive." These people are not exhibiting good listening skills. If you explain to a vendor that you don't want flowers and they respond by nodding and jotting down "$500 budget for flowers," you should not hire this person.
4. Heteronormativity. If you have a female voice, everyone you talk to over the phone will ask who is the groom. Even when you are both standing there in person, people will ask about the groom. This is called heteronormativity. It is a common problem in the wedding industrial complex. You will also encounter this problem pretty much everywhere else ever.
5. Vegetarian Food. Many people will try to impress upon you the virtues of either the portabella mushroom or something called "deconstructed lasagna." If you are not a fan of portabella mushrooms or if you do not understand what was wrong with intact lasagna, you will prove challenging to some vendors. Luckily for you, the local foods movement means you will be able to find a trendy, earth-crunchy caterer who is aware that the only substitutes for meat in a meal are not piles of cheese or giant fungi. Even in the midwest this miracle is possible.